You get 4 SATA cables with the EVGA nForce 650i Ultra motherboard and these cables are of the
"clip" variety, which provide for a secure connection. Sometimes these clips make
it a little difficult to disconnect if you have big fingers, but it makes them harder
to pull out accidentally while poking around in the case.
SATA Cable Clip
I will get some deserved criticism here. My auxiliary power supply cable is a little
short and being short on time I did the best I could, sorry. Note all the open space
on the board. Of course, the GeForce 7600 GS is a small graphics card, but there is still
plenty of room for any of the higher-end cards.
Looks like most any of the after
market CPU coolers would readily fit without any problems as well as most any of
the NB chipset cooling solutions. A good 40mm fan may do the trick on the stock
NB heatsink, if you can put up with the noise most of those little fans make. The
SB chip is setting there naked and is going to heat up rather quicker if you raise
the voltage. It definitely needs a heatsink if you try for much of an overclock.
EVGA nForce 650i Ultra Installed
The following system was used in testing the EVGA nForce 650i Ultra motherboard:
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 2.4GHz
EVGA nForce 650i Ultra Motherboard
2GB Patriot PC-6400 DDR2 Memory @ 400MHz
Western Digital Raptor 74GB SATA Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar 320GB SATA 2 Hard Drive
EVGA e-GeForce 7600 GS w/NVIDIA ForceWare 93.71
Enermax EG701AX-VE(W)SFMA V2.0 600W Power Supply
Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 and DirectX 9.0c
EVGA e-GeForce 7600 GS
This review will take a slightly different twist as a part of the criteria will be the use of a low-end video card. In this case, the e-GeForce 7600 GS, which was also provided from the folks at EVGA. The card comes with 512MB of
DDR2 ram clocked at 400MHz, 800MHz effective, with a core clock of 400MHz.
First bootup went without a hitch. Everything was identified correctly and seemed
to be running smooth with the familiar noise coming from from the stock Intel CPU cooling fan.
BIOS - Main Screen
In the BIOS we find the basic Phoenix-Award CMOS setup screen which is straight-forward
for the most part. Normally my first stop in the BIOS is in the "Standard CMOS Features"
section to set the date, time, etc. But if setting up a high performance system
my first stop is "Advanced Chipset Features" to check and/or set the memory timings
or maybe the "System Monitor." Sometimes I would like to be able to do it at the same time, if you know what I mean.
BIOS - Memory Timings
I found that the memory timings were in the ballpark at 5-5-5-16, 2T using CPU-Z. Wanting
to set the Patriot memory to the recommended 400MHz setting, I went into "Advanced
Chipset Features" and scrolled down to "FSB & Memory Config", which allowed me to
select "Optimal" or "Expert". By selecting expert I was able to manually set tCL, tRCD, tRP,
and tRAS to 4-4-4-12 respectively in that order and re-booted. Worked like a charm and everything was working good so far.
BIOS - 1333 MHz (QDR) FSB
The next step is to see if the board can hit the rated speed of 1333MHz FSB (QDR),
which would put the Intel E6600 running at 3.0 GHz, well within its capability,
but still a good speed for all-around gaming. Again,
selecting "FSB & Memory Config", but this time selecting "FSB (QDR) MHz", I manually
entered "1333" and saved the BIOS.